Tyler religious leaders from all backgrounds gathered to honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50 year anniversary of the civil rights leader's assassination.
The interfaith ceremony brought residents across Tyler to the Greater New Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church where Rev. Jerome Milton lead the celebration.
"50 years ago on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel at 6:01 p.m. this great American hero, this great American servant of peace and hope and joy was shot down by an assassin's bullet," Milton said. "So we're coming together here [people] of all faiths and all races to say thank you Dr. King we're still marching; thank you Dr. King we're still hoping."
The church's bells rang 39 times at 6:01 p.m. as a tribute to Dr. King.
In the wake of the anniversary of Dr. King's assassination some question whether our country has taken steps backwards.
"We're not all that we should be but we're better than what we were," he said.
"I talk to older parishioners at the Cathedral who remember the days of going to the square in Tyler and seeing whites-only water fountains and colors-only water fountains and how bad that was and how we're all so grateful that that's done," Deacon Bill Necessary said. "However, we still realize that there's still a lot of work to do."
Milton said interfaith gatherings like this are historical moments and show that society has come a long way with the help of Dr. King.